The first flight prototype of the Yak-152
In the interests of the aerospace forces of Russia, a promising training aircraft for initial flight training Yak-152 has been developed. Currently, this machine is being tested, and in the foreseeable future it will be able to enter the troops. Over time, the Yak-152 will become the main model of its class in our flight personnel training system.
“Bird” for the Air Force
The development of the future Yak-152 TCB began in 2014 as part of the ROC with the code “Ptichka-Air Force”. The design was carried out at the OKB im. Yakovlev (part of NPK Irkut) and took minimal time. In the summer of 2016, the Irkutsk Aviation Plant built the first prototype aircraft, and on September 29 it made its first flight. Since then, flight design tests have continued, and the state is expected to begin soon.
Yak-152 is made in the form of an all-metal single-engine low-wing aircraft with a tandem two-seater cockpit. Machine length – 7.8 m, wingspan – 8.8 m, area – 12.9 sq. M. Maximum takeoff weight – 1700 kg. The maximum speed is determined at 500 km / h, the range at full refueling (245 kg) is 1500 km.
The aircraft has a single-spar straight wing with retractable flaps and ailerons, which provide high takeoff and landing and maneuvering characteristics. Reinforced three-point landing gear allows the aircraft to operate both on concrete and unpaved airfields.
The TCB is equipped with a 500 hp RED A03T diesel engine using aviation kerosene. The motor is connected to the variable pitch propeller MVT-9. The engine was developed by a German company, but licensed production at the Russian site has already been established, which removes dependence on imports.
Two pilots, a cadet and an instructor, are located in the tandem cockpit with a full set of necessary equipment. Provided for “destructive” controls; the dashboard is built on the basis of LCD screens. Avionics is unified with the Yak-130 and ensures the creation of a single training complex. In case of accidents, there is an SKS-94M ejection system.
The aircraft can be stored inside and outside hangars. Measures are provided to simplify access to devices and units, which facilitates the maintenance of equipment. The declared resource is at least 10 thousand hours, 30 years and 30 thousand landings.
At the testing stage
As part of the first stage of preparation for testing, four Yak-152 aircraft of various configurations were built. Two of them (s / n 1520001 and 1520002) were intended for flight tests, and the other two were for static and resource tests (1520003 and 1520004). The first pilot took off in the fall of 2016, and in 2018 the second joined him.
Also, the media reported that in the near future two more experimental aircraft should appear, which will speed up the necessary tests. A year ago, at the end of May, it became known that NPK Irkut completed the construction of the fifth experimental Yak-152, and also continues to assemble the sixth. Information about the completion of the construction of the sixth vehicle has not yet been reported, but may appear at any time.
According to reports, the Yak-152 project is still at the stage of flight design tests. Three flight prototypes carry out the established program for checking the operation of individual units and systems, determining flight and maneuvering characteristics in different modes, etc. The static tests of the airframe were completed in 2018 with the receipt of an opinion on the compliance with the declared characteristics.
Upon completion of the current stage of testing, the aircraft will go to the state. The timing of their start has not yet been specified. The presence of a significant number of experimental machines and the duration of the current work suggest that they will begin in the near future. According to the results of state tests, the issue of acceptance for supply and launch of serial production will be finally resolved.
At the moment, there are only five experienced Yak-152s for various purposes, but in the future the number of such equipment will increase dramatically. A few years ago, it became known that there were plans for mass production in large volumes – in the interests of the Aerospace Forces and other structures.
Back in 2015, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense announced their intention to purchase 150 light Yak-152 trainers. Soon, the DOSAAF Aviation Department announced the possible purchase of 105 aircraft. Later, in June 2016, when the construction of the first prototypes was still being completed, the management of the Irkutsk aircraft plant announced that it had received an order from the Ministry of Defense for 150 aircraft.
In October 2018, the domestic media reported on the expansion of plans for promising TCB. With reference to sources in the Ministry of Defense, it was reported about the possible purchase of 230 aircraft over several years. However, the type of machines planned for the order was not specified – it will be determined after state tests of the Yak-152. The Austrian-made Diamond DART-550 was named a competitor of the Russian TCB in the struggle for a future contract.
Apparently, the Ministry of Defense is still only working out plans for the Yak-152. The final conclusions will be made based on the results of the expected state tests, and only then will there be a firm contract. At the same time, it is already clear that for the needs of the videoconferencing system, significant quantities of equipment are required – at least 150 units.
There is interest from DOSAAF – this organization can mark a very large order. The Yak-152 is regularly demonstrated at aviation exhibitions, where it can attract the attention of foreign buyers. However, so far there have been no reports of a possible export.
Challenges and opportunities
Until recently, frontline aviation pilots undergo initial training on jet trainer L-39, after which they master training modifications of combat aircraft. At the same time, a program of restructuring the training system is being implemented, aimed at replacing outdated samples.
Second prototype aircraft
The current modernization is based on the introduction of the modern Yak-130 trainer. Initial training is now carried out using the L-39, and the basic and advanced training is carried out using the new Yak-130. In the future, it is proposed to abandon the outdated L-39 in favor of new initial training machines – it is for this niche that the promising Yak-152 is being developed.
According to Irkut, the Yak-152 allows you to solve all the tasks of the initial training of a cadet: teach piloting and navigation techniques, incl. in difficult conditions, prepare for flights in a group, etc. With sufficiently high flight and maneuverability data, the aircraft is simple and forgiving the mistakes inherent in beginners.
The most important feature of the Yak-152 is a partial equipment unification with the more “advanced” Yak-130. These two TCS form a training complex capable of providing the entire cycle of pilot training. Having mastered simple tasks on the piston Yak-152, the cadet will be able to switch to the jet Yak-130, which fully imitates combat aircraft.
A great future
There is every reason to believe that the Yak-152 has a great future. In the coming years, such equipment will go into series, reach schools and begin to provide training for future front-line aviation pilots. Considering the declared service life, it can be expected that the Yak-152 will remain in service in the second half of the 21st century.
However, for a great future, you need to deal with an important present. Several prototype aircraft are undergoing flight design tests and have not yet entered the state stage. All such activities take time to complete, which affects the timing of the start of service. Nevertheless, the customer and the developer are optimistic and make the most daring plans for the future. Obviously, the Yak-152 will be a success, and it’s only a matter of time.